These Austro-Italian arrangements deepen the interest in the condition of
Macedonia, which is becoming ripe for an explo- sion. The Turkish Government cannot afford to pay a gen- darmerie and will not allow the people to carry rifles, and the brigands, therefore, have it all their own way. Accord- ing to the Times' correspondent in Constantinople, they mark down any village they please, and either plunder it, or seize its richer citizens, holding them to ransom ; or they de- mand black-mail, on the threat, always fulfilled, of burning down the houses if it is refused. In one or two places, a local Kaimakam has called out and armed the people, who fight well, and then the brigands are beaten ; but, as a rule, this is considered too dangerous to Turkish supre- macy. Under these circumstances, the Macedonians beseech succour from foreigners, the 13ulgars from Russia and the Greeks from Austria. Of late, Austrian influence has proved the weightier, and entire villages have turned Catholic, to pur- chase her support. Of course, the only cure is autonomy, but this the Turks will not grant until they are compelled. There will, therefore, be a rising, which will be suppressed in blood, and Austria, "in the interest of order and civilisation," will advance on Saloniea.